Skip to main content
Press Release

Appellate Division notches court wins for Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Victories punctuate fiscal year 2023

SAVANNAH, GA:  This year, the Appellate Division of the Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office continued to successfully defend the United States’ efforts to curb violent crime, to prosecute those who exploit children, and to protect American taxpayers, U.S. Attorney Jill E. Steinberg announced.

“The Southern District’s attorneys and staff consistently demonstrate exceptional skill and preparation in the cases they handle in court,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “Prevailing on appeal is a resounding affirmation of the hard work of our Appellate Division in shepherding these cases through the complex appeals process.”

The Southern District of Georgia represents the interests of the United States in criminal cases in 43 Georgia counties and litigates civil cases in federal court.  Highlights of those cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit include:  

  • United States v. Graham:  Traditionally, grand juries indict defendants by meeting in one location, where they hear witnesses in person and review other evidence. During COVID-19, social-distancing requirements made that practice nearly impossible. The Southern District of Georgia adopted a unique, temporary approach: 10 or fewer grand jurors convened in each of three federal courthouses, with the three groups linked to each other remotely by secure video-teleconference. The district kept the wheels of justice rolling, continuing to fully investigate and indict cases during that time.

James L. Graham was one of them. Graham was indicted and later convicted for participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. On appeal, Graham argued that his conviction was invalid because his indictment under the remote procedure violated several laws, including his constitutional right to an indictment by a grand jury. The 11th Circuit affirmed Graham’s conviction, holding that the Southern District of Georgia’s innovative remote process did not change the grand jury’s basic nature, infect the jurors’ decision to indict Graham, result in any security breach, or cause any flaw in the presentation of evidence.

During COVID-19, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act authorized the U.S. Small Business Administration to issue billions of dollars in Economic Injury Disaster Loans to eligible small businesses. Two of the Southern District’s prevailing decisions involved those cases:

  • United States v. Oudomsine: The defendant lied about owning a small business to fraudulently obtain an $85,000 loan. This case received national attention because the defendant used some of that money to purchase a $57,000 Pokemon trading card. On appeal, the 11th Circuit ruled that the defendant’s 36-month prison sentence was reasonable.
  • United States v. Mack: The defendant lied about owning businesses to fraudulently obtain a $150,000 loan. She used some of the funds to vacation in Miami and gave some to her boyfriend. On appeal, the 11th Circuit ruled that her 48-month prison sentence was reasonable.

The Southern District of Georgia also continues to aggressively pursue cases that involve the exploitation of children by sexual predators and abusers.

  • United States v. GunnMichael Peyton Gunn took pornographic pictures of a child in his custody and distributed those images on the internet. He also repeatedly sexually abused and prostituted the child. At trial, he was convicted of conspiring to sex traffic a child, coercing and enticing a child to engage in sexual activity, producing child pornography, possessing child pornography, and obstructing a child sex-trafficking investigation. On appeal, Gunn alleged that the government had withheld exculpatory evidence, but the 11th Circuit confirmed that the government committed no discovery violation. The Court affirmed Gunn’s conviction and sentence.

The Appellate Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia is led by Division Chief Justin Davids, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Stuchell and Channell Singh, and assisted by Paralegals Taylor Workman and Leiandra Moran.  


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated November 6, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Disaster Fraud
Office and Personnel Updates
Press Release Number: 86-23